Becoming the Best Version of yourself
A practical guide with behavioral modifications to help you fast-track success!
As a coach and mentor, I find universally that everyone desires to become the best version of themselves. Unfortunately, few actually do it. Why? When it comes to attaining success, pursuing our dreams, and living a life that we can be proud of we can be our own worst enemies. Passion and purpose cannot strive under these circumstances.
Some people are their worst enemy as a result of self-destructive behaviors that they don’t realize or are not aware of. Others are conscious of the behavior but lack the tools and/or resources required to make the necessary changes. No matter which category you identify with, several habits continually replay like theater and prevent you from being your best version. Let’s define our best selves and identify the habits we should alter so that we can achieve success.
What Does “Be Your Best Self” Mean?
You have concluded that you want more from life and have decided to do the work to become your best self. What does that term mean?
Your best self means taking control of your life. When you call the shots, you become more empowered to make decisions for your happiness. It is a pursuit of the heart’s desire without fear, indecision, and doubt halting advancement. It’s you pressing through old behaviors and stereotypes that have limited your thoughts and actions. No longer are we governed by procrastination, emotions, or comparisons with others. It’s a state in which you have a positive dialogue with yourself (self-talk) and become your biggest cheerleader, supporter, or advocate.
Your best self does not always have to mean being the winner or winning. All areas of your life can’t turn out the way you want to – acceptance of this fact is central to the new identity. Moreover, failures don’t spell the end of a pursuit. Instead, such events should be viewed as just that – a learning event. One that we can use to optimize the next attempt. Giving up and quitting are no longer escape routes. The best self revises and tweaks the formula or plan until the desired outcome is achieved. If for some reason, we cannot do it alone – not to worry – we simply seek a mastermind group filled with individuals that have been there and done that. That ideal version of you has no room for pride and recognizes the benefits of being kind, transparent, and vulnerable.
Remember that this is a guide. Take these steps two or three at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed. It took time to form the old version of you and likewise, it will take time to become the next version of you. Thank you for showing up to face this new journey. Let’s dig and address other issues that we should modify.
How to Become the Best Version of You
- Goals – Use the Crawl, Walk, Run Approach
It’s a good idea to start with goals that do not require too much time. We need to get some quick wins that will keep us focused. The newfound momentum motivates us to continue the process.
Next, determine the next batch of goals or tasks that you can complete quickly. It’s important to build confidence in the next version of you. The momentum plus the confidence will continue to drive new habits that support the adjustments that you are actively making. This will become the foundation for tasks that require more time or have heightened levels of complexity.
When you get the walk and run phases it is important that you keep it simple. Considering working for 45 minutes followed by a 15-minute break with a calming activity. A quick 10 min walk, meditation session, or jam out on your favorite band will reinvigorate you and prepare you for the next 45-minute session.
- Love Yourself Like Never Before
If you desire to improve yourself, you must unconditionally accept yourself as you are right now without criticism or judgment. That’s despite any flaws or imperfections that were pointed out to you as a child or later in life. Wholeheartedly, you become your best friend in the whole wide world, and no one can change your mind from this day forward.
By unconditionally accepting yourself, you afford yourself the awesome opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. If you’re always in your comfort zone, you’re not growing. We will discuss growth as well. Fear of failure and rejection are erased and replaced by self-love and growth opportunities. Self-love offers yourself positive self-talk and supportive self-talk. Together, they push you forward abolishing “I can’t do it” or “I can’t take it.” If you want to be your best self, you must love yourself like never before.
- Develop a Growth Mindset
We know that if you’re always in your comfort zone, you’re not growing. So, what’s so important about a growth mindset? Let’s compare and contrast a growth versus a fixed mindset.
People with a growth mindset believe they can enhance their knowledge and skills-sets. To have a growth mindset means you are open to new challenges or unfamiliar situations. You don’t mind putting in the work to acquire new talents or increase your soft skills. With a growth mindset, you believe that you can change your story.
A fixed mindset is a belief that people have characteristics or aptitudes acquired at birth and that’s not negotiable. A fixed mindset is a pattern of thinking where people don’t believe they can improve to the extent that they can achieve their heart’s desire. They prefer to be in their comfort zone, and typically do not enjoy new or unfamiliar challenges. Fear of failure makes them feel inadequate which stifles advancement. They are generally disempowered and don’t believe they can impact their future.
As you can clearly see from the difference between the two mindsets, one cannot become their best self without the growth mindset. Becoming the best version of you involves self-improvement, growth, vulnerability, risk, and transparency – such is not possible with a fixed mindset. Therefore, let us move forward with a determination to have a growth mindset.
- Failure is a Growth Opportunity
It’s important to realize that failure is a natural part of all areas of your life. It does not have to be interpreted as the signal for “it’s over” or “I have to stop here.” In fact, it’s nowhere close to being over and there is absolutely no reason to stop or give up. Our best self should see a plan or an endeavor that didn’t go as expected to be optimization information. Meaning, we dissect the situation from start to finish to harvest the lesion learned and\or what part worked again the part that did not. Afterward, we create a new plan leveraging the parts that worked and augmenting with new revised steps for the components that didn’t work out.
This approach seems simple because it actually is. It might be necessary to repeat this process ten times before getting the intended result. As we learned above from the growth mindset principles, persistence is our friend, and we benefit tremendously from being open-minded.
Failure can make you worry about what your close friends think about your misstep. Failure makes you worry that people will think you’re not so smart or lacking in some key competence. Failing can make you worry about the future infusing your present state with doubt and frustration. Herein lies another callout for self-love. You may have to remind yourself more than once that everyone fails from time to time. Some of the most successful people we admire failed their way to success. Failure is needed because that’s when valuable insights are learned that can drive you to become highly successful in life. Today, we take the oath that failure will be viewed constructively and without harsh inner criticism. We will love ourselves enough to grant ourselves as many redos as needed to complete the task – being our best friend along the journey.
- Negative Self-Talk Must STOP
Can you recall a time when you had a negative conversation going on in your head? True or false – after the situation played out was even remotely close to what actually happened? Probably not. The stories that go on in your minds are generally 100 times worse than what plays out in your day-to-day life.
If we exercise self-love and give ourselves unlimited redos – we can effectively silence and halt negative self-talk immediately. We starve the inner critic by not feeding it concerns associated with a fixed mindset. We can calm the negative self-talk by putting a positive spin on things. Always select glass-half-full over glass half-empty. Be mindful and in the moment each day, so that you can be attentive to circumstances that are altering your disposition, emotions, and inner mood from positive to negative. The idea is to mentally course-correct quickly before your mind is taken over by what-ifs and other irrational future situations that likely won’t materialize.
Finally, eliminate negative terms and phrases altogether. These are words such as should have, would have, could have, never, cannot, can’t, always, never, but, ever, and try.
Control Your Fear
Controlling your fear is possible and is absolutely necessary for coming your best self. Fear can be a devastating adversary for some to conquer. Below is a list of the six basic fears:
- Fear of Poverty
- Fear of Old Age
- Fear of Criticism*
- Fear of Health
- Fear of Death
- Fear of Loss of Love
In the self-development space, fear of criticism appears to be the prevailing fear. First, we can’t deny fear because that amplifies it. As noted, fear is a powerful emotion. Next, we don’t share our fear with others that have not mastered this emotion as they will likely add to it further intensifying the feeling. Lastly, don’t settle for an outcome that allows you to avoid that task that was stimulating the fear and/or anxiety. To be your best version – you should not have to settle for seconds. Identify the source of fear or anxiety and perform the following steps.
Remember that you are more than a conqueror! Conquer fear one event at a time – one day at a time. Love yourself like never before. Adopt a growth mindset. Care not about what people may think or say. Prepare yourselves to do the work. Cut yourself some slack if you don’t hit the mark. Learn from each encounter with fear or anxiety. BE KIND AND SUPPORTIVE OF YOURSELF.
You will be one step closer to being your best version with each goal that you successfully implement into your life. Each victory demonstrates the decision, the plan that you executed, and the work that you did to make yourself better. As you execute and refine the approach, you will see that it gets easier and easier over time. The new mindset coupled with the new skill sets will propel you into greater victory, success, and the attainment of your dreams.
It’s a sizable journey to implement the attributes that will make you your best self. However, this goal is completely obtainable, and we have a multitude of examples to source for added inspiration. What are you going to start with first?